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Old 17th April 2014, 12:04   #1
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Default An "adopted" Blue eyed boy: Pre-owned Maruti WagonR

The story unfolds....

7th October 2011, I left home to join my first job. Our í98 M800 had served us for 82k kms. My dad sold the car and had booked the new Swift VDi in white with a delivery promise in Feb Ď12. His plan was to give me the car to use as he has his office ride always at his disposal. We get a call in mid-Nov that a Swift of our choice is available as a person is facing loan problems. Since we had said we wonít be taking any finance, we were given the first choice to take the car. But right then I was sceptical about keeping a car with me. I was in training and my posting location wasnít yet decided. Finally we cancelled our booking in Jan and I took my old Pulsar for my daily commute in Bangalore where I was posted.

Come April í12, I got a call from dad saying that one of his friendís son was selling (moving abroad) his i20 Magna CRDi for 3.5L and should we buy. I had some conflicting thoughts about a powerful diesel hatch which was high on maintenance. After 2 days I made up mind to buy it and called the person only to know that the car had been sold in 12 hrs straight.


Come July í12 and I was still facing problem in getting a NOC for my bike and hadnít been able to pay the road-tax in the highly corrupt Bangalore (I have had a few very poor experience with the Traffic cops, RTO and some other Govt. Offices). Dad again suggested that I buy a car for primary use and keep the bike as backup. I was unwilling but he had convinced me for an Estilo (as it had some good discounts). But after some thinking, I stuck to my first love and sensible choice Ė a new bike, Pulsar 180.


Come May í13, I was leaving my job for higher studies. Making a sensible choice, I wanted to sell off my bike but never got a decent price and was happy to take it along. My institute is in my home town and so I was back at home. Buying a car now made some sense now and yet it didnít. We had a new Activa and a Pulsar and no one but me to ride it. My use had trickled down a couple of hundred km a month.


Come Dec í13 and my dadís friend was exchanging his July í11 WagonR VXi for a Renault Scala XV. The Renault dealer is a friend of dadís and had given him some very good discounts. He was being offered 2.3L for his old car and he was happy. I got to know of the deal and suddenly got an idea. Why not buy that car and use it as a beater? After all it doesnít pain much to keep an old car lying idle until you find a use for it and not much of an investment anyway. Tall and well equipped, it was going to be comfortable for my parents (they are aging slowly) and me (6ft with occasional sore neck/back). Having sat in the car on a couple of occasions, dad had found it comfortable and so he liked the idea. He talked to both his friends and asked for a price without any test drive or further seeing the car. He was offered the same 2.3L tag and he readily agreed without any negotiation.


Finally 26th Dec í13, a blue WagonR was delivered at our home. It was then that I found the car to have run only 14650 kms, a couple of thousand more than my similar vintage Pulsar.
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Old 17th April 2014, 12:07   #2
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Default re: An "adopted" Blue eyed boy: Pre-owned Maruti WagonR

Adopted Blue eye boy......

LOOKS:
Being a normal WagonR, I won’t be describing the design but only my car and our opinion about it. We don’t like the boxy design at all and the narrow tall stance gives it a lanky look. We can’t complain because that is what gives it a cabin where you can almost walk into and sit comfortably in a chair. But being tall has it disadvantages as I find it difficult to clean its roof though the roof rails do help a bit.

The car has quite a few scratches on the bumper edges, a couple on the ORVMs and one on the left rear door and two “L” symbols on the front and rear glasses (his son was learning driving recently). We haven’t yet taken a call on giving it a touch up. A cracked RHS tail-lamp was immediately replaced as I didn’t want faded lamps with dust and water accumulation (Rs. 1083).

COMFORT: In the front, the seats are wide enough for us. They lack lateral and under thigh support (800 was far better here). Inside the city, we don’t feel it but long high drives do make me slightly tired (a 400 km round trip in a day). At the back, the bench is very wide and offers good support. I haven’t travelled on the back seat but my parents and friends were happy seated there even for long stretches.

Leg space is surprisingly great. I being a 6 footer used to have a night mare in all hatchbacks (except the Indica). Here I find, I can sit very comfortably in the rear seat even with the front driver seat adjusted as per my most comfortable position (80% travel). The same cannot be said for the passenger side front seat as I( and only I) find the dashboard intruding into my leg space and the edge of the glovebox gives me a hard time if I don’t push the seat all the way back.
I had a complain in our old 800 and even the Estilo (friend’s car – driven extensively) where every time I engage the 1st/2nd gear and I bump into the passenger’s leg seated beside me. It wasn’t happened here till now; still the car could have been a tad wider to make it a 5 seater.

RIDE & HANDLING: My city has very good roads with occasional damages to it. So the city ride is very good for us. Small bumps and potholes are cleared easily without passing into the cabin. On the high too, rough patches have never been a concern. That’s all the good part. The bad part is as often discussed, the body roll which is confidence-breaking. An undulating road is all it takes to break the composure. Also high crosswinds and wind noise play sport. Anything up to 100kmph feels comfortable. I have taken it upto 135kmph with 4 people on board (which made the ride better due to full load probably) after which the roads deteriorated and I slowed down.

ENGINE & PERFORMANCE: Poor low end response will sum it up effectively. (I have had similar experience in a friend’s Civic - it was frustrating to drive in the city and handled poorly on shabby highway). Sometimes I feel it may not move in the 1st gear itself. Any speedbreaker comes and the car wants the 1st. The 800 could clear it in the 2nd. The 1st and 2nd gear ratios are too short and need to be changed very quickly. Due to the fairly good roads and low traffic levels, I have learnt to upshift early and maintain 30-60 kmph in 4-5th gear. This has ensured very good FE. The AC has good performance despite the large cabin and lack of tints but bogs down the engine slightly. The gear shifts are short, smooth and don’t act like the typical old Maruti. On rare occasions, the reverse gear feels a tad notchy and doesn’t engage in one go.
The car has good punch post 2.5k RPM (feels like a diesel) and highway performance is decent. I have taken it upto almost 4k rpm and 135 kmph and the engine seemed ready for more. I have usually maintained 80-110 kmph band and felt at ease.

Mild vibrations at idle and the shake while turning off is a big put off. At higher RPMs, the engine is loud and noisy. The sound is mildly sporty but the speed doesn’t match the sound. I liked the silent Spark engine.

STEERING & BRAKES: The superlight EPS unit is ideal for the city but not confidence inspiring on the highway. The brakes have good bite but Spark’s and i10’s brakes are better.
I used to switch off after stopping the car completely and used the brakes if there was any roll due to road slope. I have had scary moments when I have applied the brakes at signals when I had turned off the ignition and the brakes lost the bite. Now I engage the handbrake always when I stop. Another issue is that the handbrake has a very hard brake release button where I usually require both my thumbs to disengage the handbrake; even my dad complains the same. I have faced the same problem in my cousin’s Alto but never in any other car that I have driven. Is there anything wrong in the setup and can anything be done to make is loose?

INTERIORS: Everything is stock in the car. The car as a whole is totally rattle free. The Maruti authorized seatcovers are not good and have developed a small tear in the passenger seat and I am planning to replace the set. The driver side foot mat was missing and we got another set of mats from the MASS. These have been put under the old set for double protection. The car had a rear view camera installed with a display in the IRVM. This setup has been moved to the Scala and hence the IRVM has an adhesive mark and the rear bumper has a hole. The doorpads are the flimsiest that I have ever seen and you can literally push them into the door. Equally flimsy are the power window and power mirror switches and panels.

ICE:
The stock HU has average performance and with the correct setting, produces decent output. An USB adaptor has been fitted in the glovebox (it was optional in this model) and works in the AUX mode only and not in the USB mode provided (clicking the USB button gives the message “USE ADAPTOR”). Also I am not able to change the track or other settings in this mode. Probably the USB adaptor has been fitted in the wrong port. I had mentioned this problem to the guy from MASS who can to pick the car but he brought it back saying their ICE mechanic was there at the dealership office and not at the workshop. As of now, the problem is unsolved.

FUEL EFFICIENCY:
Due to our low running I haven’t been able to measure the FE accurately. Since last 1200 kms, I calculated from reserve to reserve (1bar in the Fuel indicator) and have found it to be fairly consistent.

Worst : 15.5 kmpl (110-130 kmph, 50% AC; 400 kms)
Best : 17.8 kmpl
Mixed highway runs : 17+ kmpl (70% AC)
City run : 16+ kmpl (50% AC)

Last edited by ashis89 : 17th April 2014 at 12:27.
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Old 17th April 2014, 12:19   #3
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Default re: An "adopted" Blue eyed boy: Pre-owned Maruti WagonR

MISCELLENOUS POINTS & ISSUES:
  • The odo reading stands at 16001 kms i.e. it has covered 1500 kms in the last 4 months (of which <50 kms is by my dad and rest is me).
  • There are no squeaks from the cabin till now (touchwood). No unwelcome mechanical sounds from the engine compartment or suspension setup. Putting on a lift showed that the car is clean.
  • The car was serviced last at 8500 kms. With a service interval of 10k kms, I plan to send it for the next service at 17k kms. MASS record shows that a pair of wipers and a RHS ORVM have been changed in the past.
  • One of the keys is slightly worn out while both keys have working remotes.
  • Insurance is due in end July ’14.
  • Key to release the boot and the fuel filler are difficult to locate and identify in the dark, needs to be remembered. Earlier I faced the same problem the lock/unlock buttons on the remote. Now I blindly operate them.
  • Power mirrors are a boon while reversing and parking.
  • Stock fog lamps have short throw but good spread so I use them in the city with parking lights as the roads are well lit but useless on the highways. Headlamps are good for highway runs but fail in front of the blinding truck lights. Not sure if they have been changed but they are of Phillips make (Germany), 60/55W H4 stock rating. No plans to change as of now.
  • High NVH levels due to thin window glasses and lack of insulation.
  • Warning beeps in case of leaving the car with key in key fob or with parking/headlights on are helpful.
  • Handbrake is easy to engage and works effectively. Once engaged the press knob is very hard to decompress and disengage. Is anything wrong?
  • The car runs on OE Apollo tyres. High road noise and good grip. Yet to test wet performance. Thread depth seems relatively low. But I have seems some more new WagonR VXi with same tyres and all seems to have low thread depth. I am not sure if it is inherent of the tyre model or they wear out faster. Can anyone shed some light?
  • The hole due to the reverse camera on the rear bumper bothers me though I can live with it. I have no plans for a cam as I find the find the RVMs sufficient for my use. Is there a aesthetic way to cover it?
Lastly, I know no review is complete without pictures so I have uploaded a set of pics to my t-bhp garage.

Last edited by ashis89 : 17th April 2014 at 12:25.
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Old 17th April 2014, 12:47   #4
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Default re: An "adopted" Blue eyed boy: Pre-owned Maruti WagonR

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
I used to switch off after stopping the car completely and used the brakes if there was any roll due to road slope. I have had scary moments when I have applied the brakes at signals when I had turned off the ignition and the brakes lost the bite. Now I engage the handbrake always when I stop. Another issue is that the handbrake has a very hard brake release button where I usually require both my thumbs to disengage the handbrake; even my dad complains the same. I have faced the same problem in my cousinís Alto but never in any other car that I have driven. Is there anything wrong in the setup and can anything be done to make is loose?
After you switch off the engine, the power assisted brakes looses any power and it IS STRICTLY NOT advisable to switch off and roll in slope. Modern day cars won't allow this and you will have hard time to maneuver with the steering as well.

To release handbrake smoother, just lift the handbrake lever a bit and then press the release button.
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Old 17th April 2014, 13:36   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIVE_ADDICT View Post
After you switch off the engine, the power assisted brakes looses any power and it IS STRICTLY NOT advisable to switch off and roll in slope. Modern day cars won't allow this and you will have hard time to maneuver with the steering as well.



To release handbrake smoother, just lift the handbrake lever a bit and then press the release button.

I never switched off the car on slopes and have never done so till date as I know the importance of engine braking. It happened something like this: I slow down and completely stop at a signal. I switch off the engine as the waiting time is high (>1 min). I release the brakes to relax but don't engage the handbrake as I was finding it hard or I forgot. The car starts moving slightly due to some mild road undulations. I pump the brake and find it gone after the first pump and learn my mistake.

I still switch off my car at signals but only after engaging the handbrake and disengage after cranking the car.

Thanks for your suggestion for handbrake. I have tried the same but it was still hard. Strangely I have faced this problem in 2 Maruti cars only and no other car of Maruti or of other manufacturers(i have driven quite a range if cars). Will check again by lifting the handbrake and see if it helps.
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Old 17th April 2014, 14:33   #6
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Default Re: An "adopted" Blue eyed boy: Pre-owned Maruti WagonR

Thanks for sharing! I like the honest style of prose you used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
  • The hole due to the reverse camera on the rear bumper bothers me though I can live with it. I have no plans for a cam as I find the find the RVMs sufficient for my use. Is there a aesthetic way to cover it?
How about some reflective tape, or a TBHP sticker ?
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Old 17th April 2014, 16:10   #7
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Originally Posted by rajathv8 View Post
Thanks for sharing! I like the honest style of prose you used.
How about some reflective tape, or a TBHP sticker ?

Thanks. Those were strictly my opinion about the car. Overall it seems to be meeting our meagre demands quite well.

Reflectors are not to my taste as they look cheap. Regarding the sticker, it did strike me but somehow I didn't like the location for the sticker where it grabs the attention. Therefore I chose the corner of the rear glass which I feel is more subtle. Also I have exhausted my favourite stickers including the LTD sticker. I will check again for this option and also order another set.
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Old 1st August 2014, 00:36   #8
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Default Re: An "adopted" Blue eyed boy: Pre-owned Maruti WagonR

The car is nearing 17k kms and is due for the next service/oil change. The usage pattern is 90% city and 10% highway. Since our running is very low, do we stick to the km based service interval or change the oil every 6 months?

Off late, I hear a screeching (not exactly metallic) sound when I apply brakes. Most probably it comes from the front left wheel. It is usually heard when the car is slow and I slam the brakes and just as the car comes to a halt. Have the brakes pads lived their life?

The FE had reduced in the summers and was 13-14 kmpl with 100% AC in the city.
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Old 5th August 2014, 14:34   #9
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An "adopted" Blue eyed boy: Pre-owned Maruti WagonR-imageuploadedbyteambhp1407229247.848437.jpg
An "adopted" Blue eyed boy: Pre-owned Maruti WagonR-imageuploadedbyteambhp1407229324.047475.jpg
The car clocked the milestone yesterday.



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Old 5th August 2014, 15:51   #10
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Default Re: An "adopted" Blue eyed boy: Pre-owned Maruti WagonR

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Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
I never switched off the car on slopes and have never done so till date as I know the importance of engine braking. It happened something like this: I slow down and completely stop at a signal. I switch off the engine as the waiting time is high (>1 min). I release the brakes to relax but don't engage the handbrake as I was finding it hard or I forgot. The car starts moving slightly due to some mild road undulations. I pump the brake and find it gone after the first pump and learn my mistake.
First off congrats, the situation above is due to power assisted brakes not getting power and hence, there was not bite from the brakes. As you mentioned putting the handbrake before switching off the engine is a good idea.
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Old 5th August 2014, 16:12   #11
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Default Re: An "adopted" Blue eyed boy: Pre-owned Maruti WagonR

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I still switch off my car at signals but only after engaging the handbrake and disengage after cranking the car.
Ideally the brake pedal should be kept pressed, but if it's a rather longer wait as you said of >1 min then you can also switch off the car and rather than engaging the handbrake at every such signal or stop, put the gear in 1st or 2nd. Even then the car won't move.

But yes, I have inculcated this habit in me, and I'm sure that before I crank it again, I'd have shifted to neutral, it has become a natural habit for me. So, I have never jerked the car ahead while cranking. If you can do so, then I think it's a better idea than pulling the handbrake everytime.

-Bhargav
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Old 5th August 2014, 16:32   #12
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Default Re: An "adopted" Blue eyed boy: Pre-owned Maruti WagonR

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Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
.... situation above is due to power assisted brakes not getting power and hence, there was not bite from the brakes.....
Even though I knew the working of power brakes theoretically, I was taken off-guard in a couple of instances. Since I had been a regular M800 user (with occasional stints with a large range of cars) I was accustomed to use brakes with the car turned off. Now a days I rarely switch-off the car at signals due to relatively short breaks and AC being on. Also I have found that after the car is turned off, brakes lines have sufficient boost for 2 pumps after which they fail (tried this at home).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Octane_Power View Post
....rather than engaging the handbrake at every such signal or stop, put the gear in 1st or 2nd...... I'd have shifted to neutral, it has become a natural habit for me..... I think it's a better idea than pulling the handbrake everytime.
-Bhargav
Even I have developed the habit of cranking the car in neutral, with the clutch depressed. Also if the clutch is properly adjusted, your car won't jerk even if you crank the car in gear while the clutch is fully depressed.

I press the brakes for short stops and engage the handbrakes for longer ones. I mostly don't turn off the car as traffic stops in my city are a maximum of 90 secs and also the AC is on.

Regards,
Ashis
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Old 5th August 2014, 16:56   #13
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Default Re: An "adopted" Blue eyed boy: Pre-owned Maruti WagonR

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Even I have developed the habit of cranking the car in neutral, with the clutch depressed. Also if the clutch is properly adjusted, your car won't jerk even if you crank the car in gear while the clutch is fully depressed.
See, in my Zen, the 1st generation one, the manual says to crank the engine with the clutch pressed (doesn't matter if you're in gear or neutral), they have clearly written to press the clutch while starting the car. So, as you have stated when I'm driving my Zen, even if the car is in 1st or 2nd, it doesn't matter cuz as it is I'd have pressed the clutch, so it doesn't jerk ahead. Ok, mind you, it is not that my Zen won't start if you don't press the clutch while starting(here I'm talking about neutral), it will start normally, but since the manual says to engage the clutch I follow it, but newer models don't require that.

But, if it is a newer car which doesn't require pressing the clutch while cranking, even though it won't harm to press the clutch and start(if it is in gear), I avoid it and shift to neutral and start. Just to follow two distinct procedures for my car and other cars, nothing much except that.

-Bhargav
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Old 25th September 2014, 01:12   #14
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An "adopted" Blue eyed boy: Pre-owned Maruti WagonR-imageuploadedbyteambhp1411586866.499006.jpg
The first casualty that the car suffered at my hands, all due to my overconfidence and carelessness.

Had been to a restaurant for dinner with friends. It was raining heavily and I got into the car after taking a look at area around the car. My friends came after 5 mins. In the meantime, somebody had parked his Unicorn about 10ft away behind my car. While reversing slowly and confidently I failed to notice it. Water drops on all windows and the RVM meant doom for me. A gentle at snail crawling speed meant a dent on the hatch and unbalanced Unicorn lying on the ground. We immediately got out to pick up the bike, it was unscathed. The rider who was nearby, was kind enough to say it was ok after a sincere apology from me.

Problem 1:
Is there any chemical to remove the water droplets clinging to the glasses?
It has seriously handicapped my visibility during the rains. I know I am late to ask for a solution as the rainy season is almost over, but as it is said, better late then never.

Problem 2:
Another issue that I have faced is on cool nights, when rain has stopped, the windscreen is seriously fogged on the outside. The rear defogger does its job but the front is the cause of concern. Using the air-conditioner doesn't help nor does opening up the windows and I have to use the wiper intermittently to clear the glass. The solution that I found is to turn on the the heater and direct the air at the screen. This makes the cabin stuffy and uncomfortable even when all the windows are open. Is there any other solution?


The car has clocked 17700 kms and has been returning 14+ kmpl consistently with 100% AC and a slightly heavy foot. It is due for the annual service though I am waiting for the rains to stop completely before giving it for the service. The rear wiper is hard and is making weird squeaky noise while wiping down. Should I replace it now or wait till the next rains?


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Last edited by ashis89 : 25th September 2014 at 01:25. Reason: Adding some more content
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Old 25th September 2014, 22:59   #15
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Default Re: An "adopted" Blue eyed boy: Pre-owned Maruti WagonR

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
Attachment 1292051
Problem 1:
Is there any chemical to remove the water droplets clinging to the glasses?
It has seriously handicapped my visibility during the rains. I know I am late to ask for a solution as the rainy season is almost over, but as it is said, better late then never.
Although the rains have now more or less ended for this year, you can try Proklear NGS. Hope it helps.
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